You Me At Six / Tonight Alive – Doncaster Dome – 07/04/17
Having released their fifth studio album in January, You Me At Six have taken back to the road the tour their new album ‘Night People’ across the UK with special guests Tonight Alive. Having seen You Me At Six late last year kicking off the new album cycle, it was going to be a tough call to put on a better show. Could they live up to the high expectations?
Aussie alt-rock band Tonight Alive (9) are tonight’s main support and you couldn’t have picked a better band to warm the crowd up. As ever, Tonight Alive are full of energy, pacing around the stage as they play through their short and sweet set crammed with tracks old and new.
Front-woman Jenna McDougall is rather angelic tonight, with her angel wings strapped to her back towering over the crowd on the risers with a halo of light beaming down on her. Her voice is ironically heavenly as usual too, and the band back her strongly from track to track. Guitarists Whakaio Taahi and Jake Hardy spin and glide around the stage whilst dodging Bassist Cam Alder as he busts out the power stances on the risers.
The set kicked off with ‘How Does It Feel?’ taken from their most recent album ‘Limitless’, before their movie hit soundtrack ‘The Edge’ has our Spidy senses tingling with an extremely powerful performance. Tracks such as ‘The Fire’ and ‘The Ocean’ from ‘The Other Side’ go down an absolute treat.
Having dropped the brand new track just nights before, ‘World Away’ has people singing along showing the crowd aren’t just here for You Me At Six tonight. The new track is similar to the movement forward to ‘Limitless’ in many ways, but shows signs of growth as a band, and it sounds fantastic live.
Closing with the storming ‘Lonely Girl’, Tonight Alive leave us all wanting much more. After that performance they will certainly pull in a large crowd on their return to the UK in the Summer for Slam Dunk Festival!
With Tonight Alive’s fantastic performance, You Me At Six (10) seem to have a large task at hand to prove their worth as headliners. So it’s no surprise to see the band stroll out to stage to the lead title track of new album ‘Night Peaople’ with plenty of swagger about them. The room burst into excitable screams before singing along deafeningly loud to the chorus almost drowning out the voice of frontman Josh Franceschi.
YMAS effortlessly glide through start of their set knocking back tracks such as ‘Underdog’, ‘Loverboy’ and Stay With Me’, all of which are within their own right to be the closing songs of the set, proving how far the lads from Surry really have come with such an arsenal of hits.
The lads continue their solid start with the blistering ‘The Swarm’, which blasts through the speakers of the venue furiously sounding incredible. Guitarists Chris Miller and Max Helyer are both a blurry mess of moshing hair at either side of the stage as they thrash through track head-banging away.
As this is the tour supporting new album ‘Night People’, it’s quite a surprise the show has started out with so many of the older tracks, however it’s not long before we are treated to ‘Spell It Out’, ‘Swear’ and ‘Heavy Soul’ which have everyone singing along at the top of their voices. The new material really does stand above the rest, and shows a great deal of maturity in the band over their previous albums.
Having practically written off their debut album ‘Take Off Your Colours’ in terms of tracks featuring in the setlist for recent shows, it’s a great surprise to hear Josh announce the return of ‘Save It For The Bedroom’ to the set, and it’s received with a reaction of chaos from the crowd. Mosh pits open as we dance along to a blast from the past and it still sounds as good live as it did several years ago.
It’s worth pointing out that the sound in the venue is crystal clear, even at level 10, so it’s easy to hear any faults in the set. However You Me At Six are so tight as a unit now mistakes are hard to come by these days. They know every track and each other like the back of their hands. Josh’s voice is also noticeably
stronger than the first part of this tour last October, as he smashes every song on the setlist without showing any difficulty.
It is without a doubt one of the strongest performances we have seen from the lads and it seems to be consistently improving from show to show, particularly in these kinds of venues where the atmosphere becomes electric.
Unknown to many here, this very evening a terror attack struck in Sweeden. The frontman speaks from the heart about the subject of terror, racism, and sticking together to be strong to change the world we live in. “We’ve all got heartbeats, we’ve all got a brain… while we’re on this planet lets show a little more understanding and compassion. Lets enjoy life while we can”. The moving speech from Josh sets up an emotional performance of ‘Take On The World’ which becomes one of the most memorable moments of the night.
With so many of the big hitters out of the way, it falls to the bouncing ‘Lived A Lie’ and the beautiful ‘Give’ to provide the demanded encore from the crowd. ‘Room To Breath’ furthermore closes the set as the Josh encourages everyone to loose themselves for one final time, and that’s exactly what he gets. Circle pits open up for the energetic ‘Room To Breathe’ closing the set the exactly the way a You Me At Six show should always end.
It’s been another outstanding performance from You Me At Six, and it’s set them up perfectly to show Reading & Leeds festival exactly how good they are as they headline the NME stage later this year. Whatever you do, do not miss it.
Photography: Danny Peart Photography